Managing Life-Long Mental Health as a Senior

Posted by georgette12 @georgette12, Jan 13, 2017

I have just started using this site so this is my first message.

@parus

Always glad to enlighten, expand and educate. The dictionary has been my best friend since childhood…I did check out the site and HAD to mute the sound as those high pitched cacophonous frequencies were sinuous in my neuropathic world. I did read several and liked what I read. Thanks for the share and I have saved the site. Teeny-tiny baby steps are all I can do for today. Weather moving in-Doppler eat your radar out…tee-hee.

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@parus

Thanks for the smile!

Teresa

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@kaydas

Hi, I am Kaydas. it is my first message and I don’t know much about the forum. I hope to find so many golden hearts and find solidarity and empathy. I have a depression and anxiety for 32 years. The number of years of my suffering tells that nothing helped me to recover. I hope that little by little I will gain confidence and friends. God help us.

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Hello @kaydas, welcome to Connect and thank you for posting your first message to this discussion on managing life-long mental health as a senior.

@kaydas, if you don’t mind sharing, how are you doing with your depression and anxiety? 32 years is certainly a long time.

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@kaydas

Hi, I am Kaydas. it is my first message and I don’t know much about the forum. I hope to find so many golden hearts and find solidarity and empathy. I have a depression and anxiety for 32 years. The number of years of my suffering tells that nothing helped me to recover. I hope that little by little I will gain confidence and friends. God help us.

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Welcome, @kaydas – I don’t know how long ago depression and anxiety and a few other fun things started for me. Long before I realized I needed help. This is a great place to find support from others of us who pray for God to help us.

I know that it gets really old. Do you have people around you who care about you and maybe even understand some of what you deal with every day? As Justin said, feel free to share with us as much about yourself as you’re comfortable. We’re here to offer our love and support anytime you need it.

Jim

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Hello @kaydas and welcome to Mayo Connect

I’m glad that you found our discussion about lifelong mental illness. We have many supportive people in our online community who will be glad to share with you from their own experiences. As Justin @JustinMcClanahan and Jim @jimhd have mentioned, please feel free to share with us, as you are comfortable, more about yourself.

I would also encourage you to look at some of our other discussions such as, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/how-spirituality-can-help-stress/

And https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/long-term-depression/.

In these discussions you will meet folks who, like yourself, have struggled with mental health issues. This group of very courageous people will encourage you in your journey.

Have you looked into a NAMI support group in your area?

Teresa

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Hello Teresa, Justin, Jim and many others,
Thank you so much for your warm welcome. I am Canadian. I am 66 years old man with a long history of struggle. I was 35 when my life crashed. Little by little along all these years I lost everything: my true identity, joy, interest and even my profession and job. What I learned during all there years that medication (antidepressants, antipsychotics…) do not work. They make more damage that good. ECT is a killer. It erased my memory, added more anxiety and gave more suffering. First, you have to have really a good doctor who cares. I had no lack with this. They just push a medication and nothing else. How about nutrition, many tests (like thyroids), change of lifestyle… Never ever they asked me about all these things. In town where I live I lost all my friends. They didn’t want to deal with a person who is caries negative thoughts. I am alone. I do have a family. My children grew up and have they own lives. I hope I will get more info about you all. Thank you for support and welcome.

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Hello, @kaydas. Wanted to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am terribly sorry to hear about all your losses and treatments that didn’t work for you. I can only imagine that must be very difficult. I think you will find others who will share some of your sentiments and experiences here.

Just for fun, I thought you might like to meet some other Canadians on Connect, such as @wendysider, @billbees , @pcfromfm, @miro , @beahind, @daviseyes, @kspiel, @jeanner @gerryk, @gregorytremblay, @clawrence, @knightkris, @sheilajean, @jmbjar, @fransky, @megan123, and Connect’s director, @colleenyoung.

Have you found any lifestyle changes that make a difference with your symptoms?

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@lisalucier

Hello, @kaydas. Wanted to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am terribly sorry to hear about all your losses and treatments that didn’t work for you. I can only imagine that must be very difficult. I think you will find others who will share some of your sentiments and experiences here.

Just for fun, I thought you might like to meet some other Canadians on Connect, such as @wendysider, @billbees , @pcfromfm, @miro , @beahind, @daviseyes, @kspiel, @jeanner @gerryk, @gregorytremblay, @clawrence, @knightkris, @sheilajean, @jmbjar, @fransky, @megan123, and Connect’s director, @colleenyoung.

Have you found any lifestyle changes that make a difference with your symptoms?

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Hello and my warmest thank you for compassion, empathy and helping me find so many Canadians. Of course, I understand I am not alone who is in battle with depression and anxiety. All of us have his or her own way of coping and dealing with these monstrous which brought us together. It is my first time I am talking about my mental issues. I think it is very important to know different stories, different ways of fighting with the illness, about medicine, therapies… I unfortunately didn’t get much from my caregivers- doctors. May be in different occasion if it is appropriate, I can tell my story. Thank you again Lisa Lucier. Wish you health Kaydas

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@hopeful33250

Hello @kaydas and welcome to Mayo Connect

I’m glad that you found our discussion about lifelong mental illness. We have many supportive people in our online community who will be glad to share with you from their own experiences. As Justin @JustinMcClanahan and Jim @jimhd have mentioned, please feel free to share with us, as you are comfortable, more about yourself.

I would also encourage you to look at some of our other discussions such as, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/how-spirituality-can-help-stress/

And https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/long-term-depression/.

In these discussions you will meet folks who, like yourself, have struggled with mental health issues. This group of very courageous people will encourage you in your journey.

Have you looked into a NAMI support group in your area?

Teresa

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Hello Teresa,
Thank you very much for very useful links I will connect to. NAMI is American and here in Canada we don’t have it. There are so many different organization doing similar kind of work. I strongly recommend to watch a brand new documentary called Broken Brain by Dr. Hyman. There are eight episodes. Thank you Kaydas

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@kaydas

Hello Teresa, Justin, Jim and many others,
Thank you so much for your warm welcome. I am Canadian. I am 66 years old man with a long history of struggle. I was 35 when my life crashed. Little by little along all these years I lost everything: my true identity, joy, interest and even my profession and job. What I learned during all there years that medication (antidepressants, antipsychotics…) do not work. They make more damage that good. ECT is a killer. It erased my memory, added more anxiety and gave more suffering. First, you have to have really a good doctor who cares. I had no lack with this. They just push a medication and nothing else. How about nutrition, many tests (like thyroids), change of lifestyle… Never ever they asked me about all these things. In town where I live I lost all my friends. They didn’t want to deal with a person who is caries negative thoughts. I am alone. I do have a family. My children grew up and have they own lives. I hope I will get more info about you all. Thank you for support and welcome.

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Hi, @kaydas – I understand some of what you’ve lived with the past 30 years. I was diagnosed with depression, PTSD, anxiety disorder, and suicidal ideation in 2005. I’d been taking an antidepressant for several years before that, and if I hadn’t secretly carried around a bunch of garbage in my backpack, doctors probably would have seen it long before that. Mental disorders had a lot of stigma 30 years ago, and it’s only marginally improved in the meantime. Unfortunate, but true.

It’s a big deal when you find doctors who care enough about you, a person, not just to push drugs. My pcp is always happy when I take a med off my list. He doesn’t really talk about lifestyle or nutrition, which could make a difference for many of his patients. I’m pretty much in good shape on those counts. I never complain about having blood draws or tests because, for me, it indicates a level of concern.

We do need the support of others in dealing with our depression et al. Trouble is, a pretty common side effect of depression is isolation. We sometimes fight against ourselves, doing things that make us more depressed, or whatever.

For me, going to a good, welcoming, loving church at least gives me one day a week when I feel better. I went for 8 years, to a church that, to understate it, was the near opposite. I had to find a new, healthy place to worship, for the sake of my sanity.

I look forward to more conversation.

Jim

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@kaydas

Hi, I am Kaydas. it is my first message and I don’t know much about the forum. I hope to find so many golden hearts and find solidarity and empathy. I have a depression and anxiety for 32 years. The number of years of my suffering tells that nothing helped me to recover. I hope that little by little I will gain confidence and friends. God help us.

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I too have dealt with depression for the better part of my life. I am now 86 years old and 2 years ago a psychiatrist put me on venafaxine and trazodone. I am now able to function better and sleep comes easily, a relief. Throuout the years, due to my depression , I have walked away from any friends I had. I have a special needs adult daughter who lives with me and she is the only person I do anything with. I long for adult interaction but am afraid to take the first step. I go back to when mental illness had a terrible stigma attached to it and get rid of those feelings of being judged by others as a mentally ill person. I have dealt with two bouts of cancer successfully alone and carry some resentment for being alone even though I may have caused it. I know what I should do to help myself but am unable to get motivated. I need things to do besides going to doctors and counselors. My husband died 12 years ago and I was his caretaker during his last year. At least I had a purpose. Now it is my daughter. I look forward to the day ending so I can go to sleep. It is what it is but very empty…

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@kaydas

Hello Teresa, Justin, Jim and many others,
Thank you so much for your warm welcome. I am Canadian. I am 66 years old man with a long history of struggle. I was 35 when my life crashed. Little by little along all these years I lost everything: my true identity, joy, interest and even my profession and job. What I learned during all there years that medication (antidepressants, antipsychotics…) do not work. They make more damage that good. ECT is a killer. It erased my memory, added more anxiety and gave more suffering. First, you have to have really a good doctor who cares. I had no lack with this. They just push a medication and nothing else. How about nutrition, many tests (like thyroids), change of lifestyle… Never ever they asked me about all these things. In town where I live I lost all my friends. They didn’t want to deal with a person who is caries negative thoughts. I am alone. I do have a family. My children grew up and have they own lives. I hope I will get more info about you all. Thank you for support and welcome.

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Hi Jim, I am so glad knowing a little more about you. How wonderful… you were a pastor. Soon you are going to have a golden anniversary with your wife of 45 years. We have only 33 years together. Ten acres of land it is huge. It is time for harvest. What kind of plants and trees do you have there?
Music and Bible… Great combination. I also love to listen to church music. I don’t do that often because even a sound of a beautiful music can irritate me. I know it is awful to live in complete isolation and silence. I don’t know much about your condition and what you are going through. I am sorry for asking. Can you describe a little more about this condition? I don’t care about stigma of mental illness. It is no my fault. It just happened just after my fathers dead. 32 years have passed but for me it is like it happened yesterday. I still live in the past. I basically don’t do much. I read and watch some documentaries about health, history and geography. I have no TV. I live in a small apartment with my wife who also have health issues. We live in Canada in the province of Alberta. Soon we will have snow and cold. It will make our life even more difficult. Where you can go if outside is minus 30? We also practicing a meditation and trying to go to the Buddhist temple for meditation. We are not changing our religion, we just like the environment there. Nobody is asking questions. I also used to have dog but he passed. Was very old.
Take care yourself, Jim.
I hope to hear from you.
Kaydas

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@kaydas

Hi, I am Kaydas. it is my first message and I don’t know much about the forum. I hope to find so many golden hearts and find solidarity and empathy. I have a depression and anxiety for 32 years. The number of years of my suffering tells that nothing helped me to recover. I hope that little by little I will gain confidence and friends. God help us.

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Hi Justin and thank you for moderating this site. You look like a compassionate person. THis is the first time I am posting here, and I have been having anxiety on and off for the past 5 years, beginning with my daughter’s first pregnancy, which was complicated. Them she ended up having two more pregnancies which were even more life-threatening to her ad the babies. With good health care, several hospitalizations and monitoring, her children normal and beautiful, but I remained in anxiety state on of, comlicataed my 88-year old mother who is always at me for one thing or another.

On the bright side, the physical trappings of my life are very good. Wonderful second husband, two beautiful homes, one in Pennsylvania and one in Florida. Having a lot of anxiety about leaving all the kids and grandchildren as we fly out on Saturday to FL.

I have found the best way to make is to fake and push through, take my medication, be mindful and grateful, talk therapy and reaching out to good friends. I also try to find happiness in the small things in life, and I exercise hard at least 4 or 5 days a week.

A mental health services in our country are so vastly underserved and I would like to get involved in helping other people.

Thanks to you all for listening, and I appreciate your support.

Hang tough, friends. There are always good days and rays of hope.

Julie

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@kaydas

Hi, I am Kaydas. it is my first message and I don’t know much about the forum. I hope to find so many golden hearts and find solidarity and empathy. I have a depression and anxiety for 32 years. The number of years of my suffering tells that nothing helped me to recover. I hope that little by little I will gain confidence and friends. God help us.

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Hello Julie, @user_che9abc00

Thanks for your contribution to our discussion, it is always good to hear from others who are dealing with anxiety and hearing about the techniques they use to cope. I certainly applaud you for all of the good strategies you have in place: exercise, talk therapy, meds, etc. It does take a lot of healthy behaviors in order to counteract a negative mind-set doesn’t it?

We look forward to hearing from you again. Enjoy your time in Florida!

Teresa

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@kaydas

Hi, I am Kaydas. it is my first message and I don’t know much about the forum. I hope to find so many golden hearts and find solidarity and empathy. I have a depression and anxiety for 32 years. The number of years of my suffering tells that nothing helped me to recover. I hope that little by little I will gain confidence and friends. God help us.

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Hi, @mrmaid11 — glad you have found some medications that are helping.

You have undergone many challenges. I’m sorry right now it feels like you are looking forward to the day ending so you can sleep.

Since you have participated in a lot of caregiving, I thought you might like to meet the volunteer mentor for our Caregivers group on Mayo Clinic Connect, @IndianaScott .

You mentioned that you long for adult interaction and that you walked away from any friends due to your depression. Are there any of those friends you feel you could take the relationship back up with–ask them to coffee or something along those lines?

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Hello All:

Mayo recently published a News Feed. This was written by the Mild Cognitive Impairment group and it is titled, Habit of Calm: The Body Scan. I read it and was most impressed with the thoughts that were suggested in the article. I would encourage you to also read it.

https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/living-with-mild-cognitive-impairment-mci/newsfeed/habits-of-calm-the-body-scan/

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